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Monday, April 26, 2010

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday April 29 to Thursday May 6

The Last Quarter Moon is Thursday May 6. Venus is readily visible in the twilight near the bright star Aldebaran. Mars is close to the Beehive Cluster. Saturn is seen in the evening above the northern horizon near the bright stars Regulus and Spica. Jupiter is easily seen in the morning sky. On Friday April 30 the Moon is very close to the bright star Antares in Scorpius.

The evening sky facing west in Australia on April 30 at 6:15 pm local time showing Venus, the V-shaped Hyades cluster and Aldebaran.

The Last Quarter Moon is Thursday May 6.

Saturn is rising before Sunset and is easily visible in the evening sky as the bright yellow object between the bright stars Regulus and Spica. Now is still a very good time for telescopic observation of the ringed world. On the 1st of May, Saturns' Moon Titan cruises just below the planets south pole.

However, it is best to wait until around 10 pm, when Saturn is quite high in the sky for the best telescopic views. Saturn's' rings are opening, and look quite beautiful, even in a small telescope. If you don't have a telescope, now is a good time to visit one of your local astronomical societies open nights or the local planetariums.

On Friday April 30 the Moon is very close to the bright star Antares in Scorpius.

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Bright white Venus continues to rise above from the twilight glow. Venus is now readily visible above the western horizon half an hour after Sunset, and even before. From Thursday 29 April to Sunday 2 May , Venus is close to the Hyades cluster and the red star Aldebaran. You will need a flat, level horizon to see them at their best low in the late twilight sky.

Jupiter is now easy to see in the morning sky as the brightest object above the north-eastern horizon.

Evening sky looking North showing Mars, Saturn and bright stars at 9:15 pm local time on Sunday May 2. Click to embiggen.

In the evening Mars can be seen low in the north-western sky as the brightest (and clearly red) object in that part of the sky. Red Mars is in the constellation of Cancer, near the Beehive Cluster (Praesaepe).

Mars is moving rapidly, leaving behind the beautiful Beehive Cluster.

Mars forms a line with the bright stars Sirius and Procyon. Mars forms another line with Regulus, Saturn and Spica.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm ADST, Western sky at 10 pm ADST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch. Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

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